On 01/22/2014 09:25 AM, Alexander Korotkov wrote:
On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 1:21 AM, Heikki Linnakangas <hlinnakan...@vmware.com

On 01/21/2014 11:35 AM, Heikki Linnakangas wrote:

Oh, I see what's going on. I had assumed that there cannot be duplicate
insertions into the posting tree, but that's dead wrong. The fast
insertion mechanism depends on a duplicate insertion to do nothing.

Ok, this turned out to be a much bigger change than I thought...

In principle, it's not difficult to eliminate duplicates. However, to
detect a duplicate, you have to check if the item is present in the
uncompressed items array, or in the compressed lists. That requires
decoding the segment where it should be.

But if we decode the segment, what's the purpose of the uncompressed items
array? Its purpose was to speed up insertions, by buffering them so that we
don't need to decode and re-encode the page/segment on every inserted item.
But if we're paying the price of decoding it anyway, we might as well
include the new item and re-encode the segment. The uncompressed area saves
some effort in WAL-logging, as the record of inserting an entry into the
uncompressed area is much smaller than that of re-encoding part of the
page, but if that really is a concern, we could track more carefully which
parts of the page is modified, and only WAL-log the required parts. And
hopefully, the fast-update lists buffer inserts so that you insert many
items at a time to the posting tree, and the price of re-encoding is only
paid once.

So, now that I think about this once more, I don't think the uncompressed
area in every leaf page is a good idea.

I didn't get why insertion of duplicate TIDs to uncompressed area and
eliminate them of re-encoding? It would be somewhat more work during
updates, more work during scan, more WAL records. But is it really
significant for real-life workloads?

Hmm, so you would merrily insert duplicate TIDs into the uncompressed area, and weed them out when reading or recompressing the page? I had not thought of that. Yeah, it might be a good trade-off, duplicates are not expected to happen very often.

I refactored the way the recompression routine works again. It is now more
clearly a multi-step process. First, the existing page is "disassembled"
into an in-memory struct, which is a linked list of all the segments.
In-memory each segment can be represented as an array of item pointers, or
in the compressed format. In the next phase, all the new items are added to
the segments where they belong. This naturally can lead to overly large
segments; in the third phase, the items are redistributed among the
segments, and compressed back to the compressed format. Finally, the
finished segments are written back to the page, or pages if it had to be

The same subroutines to disassemble and recompress are also used in vacuum.

Attached is what I've got now. This is again quite heavily-changed from
the previous version - sorry for repeatedly rewriting this. I'll continue
testing and re-reviewing this tomorrow.

Let's clarify where we are. We had quite debugged and tested version with
hard-wired varbyte encoding. Now we're reimplementing and debugging
segmented version of varbyte encoding in a hope that one day we can easily
replace it with something better that meets our restrictions (but we didn't
find it already). Is it right?

The segmentation was a sensible change on code-readability grounds alone. Yes, it made it easier to experiment with different encodings, and will make it easier to replace the encoding in the future, but that wasn't the only reason for doing it. It's nice to have the encoding/decoding stuff in ginpostinglists.c, so that the rest of the code just passes around opaque GinPostingList structs (previously known as PostingListSegment).

One thing I have been pondering, though: Instead of storing the posting lists one after each other on the leaf page, it might be better to store them as Items on the page, with normal ItemIds pointing to each. So the page layout would be more standard, and you could use PageAddItem/PageIndexMultiDelete to add/remove posting lists to page. The immediate advantage of that would be that it would make it possible to do a binary search of the segments, to quickly locate the right segment where a tuple belongs to. That might not be significant in practice - linearly scanning 32 items is not slow either. And it would add some overhead, one line pointer per segment, 4 * 32 = 128 bytes per page with the current segment size of 256 bytes. But then again, it might be a good idea just because it would make the pages look more like any other page, which is generally a good thing.

- Heikki

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